Dear Friends and Supporters of CINI Australia,

This message was written from the Child in Need Institute headquarters in Pailan, just south of Kolkata, to share the 50 year celebration of CINI’s work empowering women and building safety for vulnerable children.

Thank you for your wonderful and continued support.

Let me give you a glimpse of what we saw and heard in the villages and slums where your contributions are changing lives.

Families told us that they want to continue on this path and request we continue to fund these life changing programs.

Thank you,
Jennie Connaughton

Founder CINI Australia

Note: Photos: names have been changed and permission received for use of photos

Foundation Day

CINI Australia visitors joined the fantastic celebrations of CINI’s 50th anniversary on Thursday 1st February.

The guests of honour were the 4 children from 4 of the states in which CINI works. They spoke to us about their lives, the change CINI has helped them make, of their dreams and aspirations and their determination to achieve their rights and be heard. Their beautiful regional dances were joyous celebrations, their dramas skilfully addressed family violence, gender equity, inclusion and child marriage.

Outstanding staff received well deserved recognition for their dedication and work over the past 50 years

Congratulations and recognition came from the world’s leading organisations working against child exploitation and violence against children including the UN, SAIEVAC, ECPAT and the West Bengal Commissioner for the Protection of Childs Rights.

Support groups came from Italy, Switzerland and Australia joined this celebration of extraordinary achievements.

IICCHAA: For Children Affected by HIV 

A home visit to Naimah and Sabira

After squeezing into totos then making our way across the padi fields, we received a warm welcome into Naimah’s home where she lives with her 4 daughters at the edge of the padi field. Curious neighbours gathered arounda stark contrast to earlier days when the family was ostracised because of fear of infection. Naimah clearly feels very supported by Anaewara, Nazia and Succhandra, the IICCHAA team. Lots has changed since they joined this program.

Naimah and her daughter, Sabira, are now both healthier, on regular ART medication and no longer afraid. They are again a part of their community. Sabira, who had never been to school, is in grade five and has mastered the alphabet in 2 languages. She is the first generation able to sign her name, a huge step towards independence and security. IICCHAA’s tutoring assistance is helping her catch up to her age-appropriate grade. 

Income generation skills enables Naimah to support her family through sari making, piece work that earns her about $5 per day. Sabira showed us the vine spinach, tomatoes, eggplant and a young mango tree that they have growing in the kitchen garden, a strip of land between their home and the padi. A great help to their finances and nutrition.

Child Club: A Safe Place for All Children

In the next village we joined the IICCHAA Child club, a room bursting with noisey, excited girls. The community provides the space where infected and non-infected children come together to play and learn about their health, their rights and how to advocate for themselves to the authorities.

The children, under direction of one of the fathers presented a beautiful drama illustrating how they educate their community about HIV, are supported by the IICCHAA team and act to prevent child marriage.

Rashma, who we met 4 years ago when she was unwell and so low that she was barely able to talk with others, now speaks with confidence about her illness, replacing myths with facts and giving other positive children hope for their future. Dr Rumeli described the intensive support she required. Through CINI’s income generation training she is establishing her financial security. As she is now well and thriving, she has  been phased out of the program. She returns to help with children’s meetings and awareness events.  She is an inspiring role model for other children in the same situation.

Memory Work: Bringing the Present and Past Together 

Simply put, this is a process to sync the child’s family history and memories with his/her present and is a powerful way to build close communication between child and parent, ready for more challenging conversations about HIV.
We heard countless stories of change in the health, social inclusion and emotional wellbeing of families. Income generation development has had an enormous impact. Access to sewing machines, tailoring training (by one of the fathers) and computer training is building much needed financial stability. The team identifies each child’s strengths, be it academic, dance or artistic and encourages them to develop these interests to their further education. The children were excited and proud to share their paintings, creations and dance.  
The strongest message came from two mothers who took the floor. Zia said, “Slowly I am learning to sew, I do not want to stop, I want to learn more advanced sewing”. Rahima explained “with what we have learned, we know how to protect the rest of our family, we don’t feel ashamed, we can interact with anyone positively”.

The Facts and Figures

The 2024-25 budget for our IICHHAA program’s is approximately $76,000. 

Remarkably, this amount employs 9 staff who, between them have a wealth of knowledge, skills and experience.

They reach about 223 children from 185 families across 3 districts. Each child receives a monthly essential nutrition bundle, a total of 2,676 food bundles in the year.

Thousands more learn about HIV through IICCHAA’s advocacy and community awareness campaigns. To maintain this effective and deserving program we have a fundraising challenge ahead.  

Contacts us with any questions: If you would like to discuss how to support a village or family or district or to partner CINI Australia in this wonderful program let us know. Please email:

Please forward and share this letter to help continue this much needed programme. Thank you for being an important part of the team.